Friday, July 16, 2010

Custom book pricing

Okay, so I've been working really hard on coming up with a pricing plan for my work, stretching my math skills to their (admittedly short) limit. I think I've cracked the code and I'm feeling pretty good about it despite my fear of under/overcharging.

Without further adieu, here it is...

Price for base book (no images/embroidery)
6 page: $16
8 page: $20
10 page: $24

Price per image
Simple: $5
Medium: $7
Complex: $10
Simple: $6
Medium: $8
Complex: $12

Price per page for embroidery
Single word/phrase: $2
Bilingual: $3

Cover Style
Monogram: $4
Full name appliqué: $8

*a simple dedication can be added to the back cover free of charge.

So basically you start with the book length you'd like, decide if you'd like a monogram full name on the front and whether or not you'd like embroidery, and then choose your images. Here are some examples of what I mean by simple, medium and complex images:

Simple: These are straighforward images composed of 2 or less pieces and easy to cut and sew.
Medium: These are images that are composed of 3 or more pieces or are more intricate to cut and sew.

Complex: These are either super custom images or very intricate images with lots of detail and/or embroidery.

(EDIT: after going through all of the images I realized that there needs to be another category: most complex ($15 stock, $17 custom). It's all explained here.)

Stock images are ones I have already made templates for--there are a lot of them! I'll be spending some time over the weekend cataloging all of them. Custom images are ones that I haven't done before and include custom portraits (like the house and dog above).

So, basically the options range from $50 for a simple monogram 6-page book without embroidery to $172 for the most complicated 10-page book ever. I admit, I have to regulate my breathing when I look at that last figure (yikes! that's a lot of money...) but the fact is that that book would be worth every penny, and is unlikely to be ordered. Still, if anyone out there is itching for a crazy-cool custom 10-page cloth book I'm game!

I will try to add some generic listings to the shop that can be purchased for custom books, or at least figure out a straightforward way for folks to order a book. It's definitely a challenge to sell custom items on Etsy; I'm thinking about hiring a web designer to help me put together a site that will work with the system I've put together. Not until I make some money, though!

It's definitely been difficult to put this all together but I really want to continue in this work while making it as affordable as I can. I am always open to working with people individually and welcome new ideas from customers which may be more affordable. I welcome offers of trades, too and will work with folks on payment plans, etc. It's important to me to have options that most everyone can afford so I will also have lots of other options in my shop (readymade books, single image hoops, buntings...) at a lower price point.

I'd love to hear any comments or questions you have about this or any other topic!


  1. Your books are truly works of art and those price points are more than fair for the amazing, unique book that a customer will get in return. Good luck with the new custom order system. Someday I hope to use your services!

  2. I completely support you in this! Complex work takes longer to create, and it is appropriate that the pricing of handmade items reflects that. I bought a book from you for my daughter for Christmas when she was three months. She is now almost two years old and she loves that book! She traces the letters with her fingers, saying, "letters" and "me name." I will definitely be ordering another book this winter after our second child is born.

  3. Awesome! I have to say I admire this effort you're making to price your work. (The pricing and cataloging itself is a ton of work!)

  4. You guys are the best ;) I'm still plugging away at it, it is a mammoth task!!

  5. Hi Victoria, Just catching up on my blog reading and wanted to commend you on the pricing structure. More than fair and worth every penny! (If you charged by the hour, it would be a lot more.) Keep up with the great work!